Barbara Jean was born October 15, 1917, in Spokane, WA to Dr. John Henry and May Brodrecht, a nurse. Her mother died when she was a baby and her father eight years later. Barbara graduated from North Central High in 1935 and followed her sisters
(a “trio of heartbreakers”) to the University of Idaho and Gamma Phi Beta. Barbara graduated in 1939 with degrees in English and teaching. Barbara worked as a dental assistant, then married Robert Boyd in 1941, moved to Hollywood. WWII began, Robert went to war and died in action. They had no children. Barbara was working at the Spokesman Review where she met ‘Cooper’; they married in 1947, moved to Pasco, raised four children and launched a successful business, the Star Cleaners. The family was involved with the Episcopal Church of Our Savior and their dynamic pastor, Lester Kinsolving. Barbara was also a past-member of the Elks Club, the Eastern Star and the Eagles. She and Cooper divorced after the children were grown. After that, Barbara worked as a clerk at Grigg’s. She was married to John Corby in 1977; they enjoyed square dancing near and far. John passed on in 1997. He had seven children from a previous marriage.
Barbara enjoyed family get-togethers, lunches at the Pasco Senior Center and especially luncheons with her neighborhood ‘Tuesday Club’, of which she and neighbor Noma Beers were original members, and neighbor Nita Rettinghouse always provided the ride!
For the holidays in 2011-2012, Barbara travelled around the region with her son and his wife, visiting grandchildren and great- grandchildren. In 2011, Barbara was back on the dance floor for a Valentine Day event honoring seniors 90 years and older. A beautiful photo of Barbara is a family treasure of her ‘last dance’!
Barbara moved to Republic in the spring of 2011, with son Richard, Carmella, and dog Jamokey. The transition went smoothly, waking up to the view of the lake, the mountains, and the local deer herd. Every Saturday night, Barbara would grin and tap her foot throughout the Lawrence Welk Hour. Barbara had a busy 2011-2012 holiday season with visits, telephone calls, cards and photos, from family and her many grandchildren. These meant a lot to her. When asked how she was feeling, Barbara always had a positive reply! The Hospice staff appreciated her easy-going, never-complaining manner as she greeted them with a smile and amazing courage. We will remember her quiet strength, clever sense of humor, and her generosity, compassion and concern for others.
On the eve of Spring, March 19, 2012, Barbara died from cancer, at the age of 94. She was preceded in death by her parents, her aunt, two sisters, two husbands, and three children. She is survived by one son, 11 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and seven nieces and nephews and their families.
The family wishes to thank Hospice of Spokane and Bergh’s Funeral Home. The immediate family is observing a 49-day prayer period for Barbara. A private family memorial will be held at a later date.
BERGH FUNERAL SERVICE, OROVILLE, WA
Subscribe and login to the Spokesman-Review to read and comment on this story
Most read stories